Creality Cloud - All-in-One 3D Printing Platform
Upload
Workbench
Premium
Sign Up

3D Print Warping: What causes and how to fix it?

Spencer Hill
Spencer Hill 12:11 01-10
Favorite

For 3D printer users out there, 3D print warping can be one of the most discouraging problems to experience during a print.

Whether it's small details coming off your build plate or an entire corner lifting up and ruining your piece, warping can spoil any project quickly. But before you throw in the towel and consider eternal filament-filled despair, know that there are ways to fight off warping!

In this blog post, we'll equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to prevent – or even fix – warped prints so that your next successful 3D masterpiece looks just as good as you imagined. Read on for helpful tips rooted in years of hands-on experience with 3D printing!

What is 3D printing warping?

In 3D printing, 3D print warping on bed is the deformation of the printed object as it cools and shrinks.

What is 3D printing warping?

As the extruded plastic cools and solidifies, it contracts. If the object is not supported properly, it can cause the edges of the object to curl or lift up off the bed. This can result in an uneven or distorted final product.

Why are my 3D prints warping?

The warping 3D printer is a common problem in 3D printing and can be caused by a variety of factors. Some common causes of warping include:

  • The bed is not level: If the bed is not level, the print will be more likely to warp as the extruded plastic cools and shrinks. It's recommended to use an auto-leveling 3D printer.
  • The bed is too cold: If the bed is too cold, the plastic may cool too quickly, causing it to warp.
  • The print is too small: Small prints are more prone to warping because they have a larger surface area relative to their volume, which means they cool and shrink more quickly.
  • The print has a large overhang: Large overhangs can cause warping because the plastic has to support its own weight as it is being printed.
  • The print has a complex geometry: Prints with complex geometries can be more prone to warping because they have more points of contact with the bed and more areas that are prone to cooling and shrinking.
  • The print material is not suitable for the job: Some materials are more prone to warping than others. For example, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is more prone to warping than PLA (Polylactic Acid).

How to fix 3D printing warping?

While 3D printer warping can be a frustrating issue, it is possible to prevent and fix it. Here are some tips on how to prevent warping 3D printing. 

1. Increase bed adhesion

Bed adhesion is key for preventing warping during the 3D printing process.

  • Make sure that your build plate is level

If the bed is not level, the print will be more likely to warp as the extruded plastic cools and shrinks. There are several ways to check and adjust the level of the bed:

Visual inspection: You can use a ruler or straight edge to check if the bed is level. Place the ruler or straight edge on the bed and check for gaps between the bed and the ruler. If there are gaps, the bed is not level.

Automatic bed leveling: Some 3D printers come with an automatic bed leveling feature, which uses a probe to measure the height of the bed at several points and adjust the bed height as needed.

Manual bed leveling: If your printer does not have automatic bed leveling, you can manually level the bed using the adjustment screws on the printer. To do this, you will need to use a piece of paper as a feeler gauge. Place the paper between the bed and the nozzle and adjust the bed height until the paper is snug but not too tight.

For your interest: BL Touch automatic leveling kit
  • Use adhesives

Use a suitable adhesive such as glue sticks or hairspray. This will help ensure that the object stays attached while it cools down, thus reducing any potential warping issues.

If you are using adhesives on your 3D printer, you need to make sure that the print surface is clean before and after printing. Glue residue can cause an uneven print surface, potentially impacting calibration and the quality of future prints.

It is also a good idea to try a test print if you are using a new adhesive to ensure it keeps the bottom layer of the print down but can also be easily unstuck when the print is done.

Use adhesives for 3d printing
  • Thoroughly clean your print bed

It is important to clean your print bed thoroughly after each use to remove any leftover adhesive or debris. This will help ensure that the bed is ready for the next print and will help improve bed adhesion.

2. Regulate the Temperature

3D printing warping is a common issue that occurs when the material being printed cools and shrinks at different rates, causing the printed object to warp or bend.

One way to prevent warping is to regulate the temperature of the printer and its environment. Here are a few specific steps you can take:

  • Use a heated build plate

Using a heated build plate is a common method for reducing warping in 3D printing. A heated build plate helps to regulate the temperature of the material being printed and can prevent it from cooling and contracting too quickly, which can cause warping. To use a heated build plate, you will need a 3D printer with a bed that is capable of heating up.

Here are a few tips for using a heated build plate:

Preheat the bed: Before starting the print, make sure to preheat the bed to the appropriate temperature for the material you are using. This will help to ensure that the material is at the correct temperature when it is laid down on the bed.

Use the right bed temperature: Different materials have different optimal bed temperatures, so be sure to set the temperature of your bed accordingly.

  • Print in an enclosed print chamber

Printing in an enclosed print chamber can help to reduce warping in 3D printing by maintaining a consistent temperature around the printer and the material being printed. A printer enclosure helps to prevent drafts and temperature fluctuations that can cause the material to cool and shrink at different rates, leading to warping.

If you are using a printer that does not have an enclosure, you can DIY a 3D printer enclosure by yourself. There are many designs and plans available online that you can use as a guide.

  • Adjust the cooling

Adjusting the cooling for 3D printing can help to reduce warping by allowing the material to cool and solidify at a controlled rate.

Most 3D printers come with a part cooling fan that helps to cool the material as it is being printed. Adjusting the speed and direction of the fan can help to control the rate at which the material cools and solidifies, which can reduce warping.

Another way to adjust the cooling is increasing the print speed can help to reduce warping because it gives the material more time to cool and solidify before the next layer is added.

3. Slicer settings

  • Print more slowly

Printing more slowly can help to reduce warping in 3D printing because it gives the material more time to cool and solidify before the next layer is added. This can be especially helpful for materials that are prone to warping, such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).

To print more slowly, you can simply adjust the print speed setting in your 3D printer's software, such as Creality Cloud - remote 3D print software, which let you control the print speed during printing.

As a general rule, slower print speeds are better for reducing warping, but the optimal speed will depend on the material you are using and the complexity of the object you are printing.

  • Create a brim or skirt in your slicer

A brim or skirt is a feature in 3D printing that can help to reduce warping by anchoring the base of the object to the bed. A brim is a series of lines printed around the base of the object, while a skirt is a single line that is printed around the outside of the object. Both the brim and skirt serve to prime the extruder and provide better adhesion to the bed.

To create a brim or skirt in your slicer (3D printing software), you will need to adjust the settings in the software. The specific steps will depend on the slicer you are using, but generally, you will need to select "brim" or "skirt" from the settings menu and specify the number of lines or the distance from the object.

Conclusion

3D printing is an incredible technology that allows us to create objects that would be otherwise impossible to make. However, as with any technology, it has its fair share of issues.

One of the most common problems faced by 3D printer users is 3D print warping on bed. In this article, we explored what causes warping and how to fix it. We hope that you found this information helpful and that you can now avoid or fix warping in your own prints.

Thanks for reading!

Comment
Related Articles

Ender 3 heating failed E1 | Troubleshooting

Knowing how to troubleshoot Ender 3 heating failed E1 will help keep your Ender 3 running smoothly for months to come.

Filament does not disconnect and drags when printing | Troubleshooting

We’ll provide tips for troubleshooting the filament does not disconnect and drags when printing, so that you can get back up and running in no time.

Best Slicer for Ender 3 Online | Creality Cloud

Choosing the right slicer for your Ender 3 can be daunting, so we've narrowed it down to the best slicer for Ender 3 online.

Best quality settings in Cura for ender 3 | Official

Are you struggling to get the best possible quality out of your Ender 3 when using Cura? We'll discuss the best quality settings in cura for ender 3.